Release candidate 16 (RISC OS 5.28) now available for the Pi

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Official support for the Raspberry Pi 4 now within sight

There has been no formal announcement (yet) by RISC OS Open Ltd (ROOL) – but Raspberry Pi users who like to keep up with the latest developments might wish to take a peek at the Raspberry Pi downloads page on the ROOL website.

What you’ll find there, amongst other things, is a standard ROOL disc image for the Pi entitled ‘RISC OS Pi RC16’ – that’s the latest build of the RISC OS ROM that is being considered for the next stable1 release of the operating system, along with all the corresponding bundled applications and tools.

To avoid confusion, a release being considered a stable one has nothing to do with how ‘crashy’ or otherwise it might be, but rather that it won’t change; it represents a static point in development of the OS. If the value after the point in a RISC OS 5 build is even (such as 5.24 – the 24 is even) it is such a release; there is only one RISC OS build of that version for each hardware platform on which it runs. If it is an odd number, however, you will find that over time, while that number remains the same, the version of the OS you can download is different; these are development builds, that change often – a new version is usually built overnight by ROOL’s systems, in fact – and will eventually lead to a version that will become the next stable (even numbered) release.

With that in mind, release candidate 16 (aka RC16) is a build of RISC OS 5.27 that is being considered as a candidate to release as a stable version. If there are no problems encountered with RC16 and it gets a final thumbs up, it will be re-bundled as RISC OS 5.28.

If you have a Raspberry Pi and wish to try it, however, please be aware that as a release candidate it should still be considered a beta version – it’s for people to try out, and hopefully find (no) problems with. That said, the beauty of systems like the Pi is the ability to put things like this on a separate SD card to try it, while still having another card with an existing stable release and your own files and work on in case there are problems.

The hardware being targeted by the RC16 for the Pi are the Compute models 1, 3 and 3+, the Pi Zero and ZeroW, the Pi 1 models A, A+, B, and B+, Pi 2 model B, Pi 3 models A+, B, and B+ – and, perhaps most significantly, the Pi 4 model B.

In other words, one of the models of Raspberry Pi this release is targeting – and therefore which should be officially supported by RISC OS 5.28 – is the Raspberry Pi 4.